Wave energy technology developer Marine Power Systems (MPS) is set to assess the feasibility of a next-generation device thanks to a £200,000 of energy catalyst funding from Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency.

The funding has been awarded for a 12-month project, in partnership with the University of Bath, which formally began this month to deliver the modelling, design, build, test and validation of MPS' next-generation WaveSub wave energy converter (WEC).

The project will allow the Swansea-based company to assess the feasibility of a next-generation WaveSub device with the aim of multi-megawatt output. The project will also enable MPS to determine further reductions in levelised cost of energy (LCOE), which are achievable through reduced capital and maintenance costs per megawatt, the company said in a statement.

Assessments will be made from computational simulation, tank testing and LCOE modelling. The results will be directly utilised in the design of the full scale WaveSub device.

MPS is currently engaged in its 1:4 scale WaveSub prototype project, which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, with MPS receiving a £2 million grant in October 2015.

“It is a credit to the team that Innovate UK has awarded this funding to MPS,” commented Dr Gareth Stockman, co-founder and managing director of Marine Power Systems. “Energy catalyst is hugely competitive due to the fact that it is open to all companies across the UK and is not specific to marine renewables. It is for any businesses with the aim of reducing emissions, improving security of supply, and reducing cost of energy.

"Working together with our partners, the University of Bath and specialist subcontractors, MPS are embarking on a 12-month project to build, test and validate a next-generation WaveSub prototype. The next-generation device will unlock WaveSub's long-term levelised cost of energy wave-to-wire efficiencies, to allow WaveSub to compete with conventional energy generation without subsidies, when fully commercialised."